Author Archive for Matt Kelley – Page 2

W3E at CCA Seminar

By Matt Kelley, World Wide Woodcarver Exchanges Coordinator

As many of you know, the World Wide Wood­carv­er Exchanges (W3E) have been going on for many years, with the Secret Pal exchanges occur­ring quar­ter­ly for the last 19 and one-half years.  While prepar­ing the ship­ping infor­ma­tion for Secret Pal ses­sion #78, it occurred to me that a num­ber of the par­tic­i­pants in that exchange were going to be at the 2017 Car­i­ca­ture Carvers of Amer­i­ca sem­i­nar in Con­verse, IN.  This pre­sent­ed a unique oppor­tu­ni­ty for some par­tic­i­pants in the Secret Pal exchange to hand off their carv­ings in per­son, rather then via mail.  Accord­ing­ly, at lunch on the Sat­ur­day of the sem­i­nar, the six carvers in atten­dance gath­ered to hand off carv­ings and have a pho­to tak­en.  It took sev­er­al shots to get the pho­to right, in part because of a time­ly pho­to bomb by one of the CCA mem­ber instruc­tors!

The next Secret Pal ses­sion will start soon, with the 20 year anniver­sary Secret Pal exchange start­ing near the end of Decem­ber.

Exchange #79 (Fall ’17) - Com­mit­ment Reg­is­tra­tion begins on the Autum­nal Equinox, Sep­tem­ber 22 and ends Octo­ber 22. Ship­ping infor­ma­tion sent by Novem­ber 10

Exchange #80, the 20th Anniver­sary ses­sion (Win­ter ’18) should be a spe­cial event – Com­mit­ment Reg­is­tra­tion for ses­sion #80 begins on the Win­ter Sol­stice, Decem­ber 21 and ends Jan­jary 21. Ship­ping infor­ma­tion sent by Feb­ru­ary 10

For more infor­ma­tion about the W3E exchanges, click HERE.   Come join the fun in the longest run­ning secret pal exchange on the ‘net!

From Left: Car­ol Leavy, Kevin Apple­gate, W3E Coor­di­na­tor Matt Kel­ley, Steve Fowler, Gary Free­man, and Doug Evans

Steve Brown Pho­to Bomb!


July-August 2017 WOM


Welcome to Woodcarver Online Magazine

 Field Mouse

Julio Mar­tinez, Cedar Rapids, IA

First in Class Ani­mals — Real­is­tic, Full Fig­ure, Paint­ed; First in Group D — Ani­mals; Mau­ry Van­der Walle Memo­r­i­al Award (First Place in Group D)


Hel­lo, Friends in Carv­ing -

Wel­come to July-August edi­tion of Wood­carv­er Online Mag­a­zine.  This issue includes a casu­al pho­to tour of the IWC ’17 Com­pe­ti­tion for those of you who could not make it to vis­it in per­son.

In this issue:

  • Pho­to Gallery - IWC ’17 Com­pe­ti­tion Casu­al Tour 
  • Pete LeClair: Dylan
  • Ol’ Don’s Draw­ing Table: Mis­cre­ant Magna
  • Update to Events, Hap­pen­ings and Goings-On

As always, we wel­come your feed­back, ideas for arti­cles, etc.  Please use the con­tact form on the About page in the menu bar above.  Please sup­port our spon­sors;  just click any of the links in the right menu bar.



Pho­to by Marc Feath­er­ly at IWC ’14

Matt Kel­ley


IWC ’17 Competition Casual Tour

A por­tion of the Com­pe­ti­tion Exhib­it at IWC ’17

For those of you not able to make the trip to Maquoke­ta, IA for the 2017 Inter­na­tion­al Wood­carvers Con­gress, here’s your chance to get a feel for what the com­pe­ti­tion exhib­it looks like, and to see many of the pieces entered in the com­pe­ti­tion this year.  These casu­al pho­tos were tak­en by Matt Kel­ley over sev­er­al days, and qual­i­ty varies, depend­ing in large part upon the light­ing avail­able.  

In the Sep­tem­ber-Octo­ber issue of WOM, we will present a gallery of the excel­lent stu­dio qual­i­ty winner’s pho­tos tak­en by Marc Feath­er­ly, the res­i­dent pro­fes­sion­al pho­tog­ra­ph­er for IWC.  Be sure to watch for that gallery next month.

To vis­it the Com­pe­ti­tion Tour, click HERE, or vis­it the WOM Gallery page HERE and then click on IWC ’17 Com­pe­ti­tion Casu­al Tour

May-June 2017 WOM

Welcome to Woodcarver Online Magazine

 Marv Kaiser­satt — Farib­ault, MN


Hel­lo, Friends in Carv­ing -

Wel­come to May-June edi­tion of Wood­carv­er Online Mag­a­zine.  This issue includes a pho­to gallery of the carv­ing of Marv Kaiser­satt that were exhib­it­ed at the Maquoke­ta Art Expe­ri­ence dur­ing Con­gress Week 2016.

In this issue:

  • Pho­to Gallery - Marv Kaiser­satt Car­i­ca­tures 
  • Pete LeClair: Quigley
  • Ol’ Don’s Draw­ing Table: Golf Bawls
  • Update to Events, Hap­pen­ings and Goings-On

As always, we wel­come your feed­back, ideas for arti­cles, etc.  Please use the con­tact form on the About page in the menu bar above.  Please sup­port our spon­sors;  just click any of the links in the right menu bar.



Pho­to by Marc Feath­er­ly at IWC ’14

Matt Kel­ley


Marv Kaisersatt Gallery

Dur­ing Inter­na­tion­al Wood­carvers Con­gress Week 2016, the Maquoke­ta Art Expe­ri­ence fea­tured an exhib­it of the work of Marv Kaiser­satt and Fred Cogelow. This issue fea­tures a pho­to gallery of the Kaiser­satt pieces that were on dis­play.    (We’ll fea­ture the Cogelow pieces in a future edi­tion).    

Marv Kaiser­satt is a nation­al­ly renowned car­i­ca­ture carv­er and long-time mem­ber of Car­i­ca­ture Carvers of Amer­i­ca.   His body of work includes detailed mul­ti-fig­ure carv­ings from a sin­gle piece of wood, with no add-ons.  He is a mul­ti-year win­ner at the Inter­na­tion­al Wood­carvers Con­gress, was the Wood­carv­ing Illus­trat­ed Wood­carv­er of the Year in 2006, and is the author of Cre­at­ing Car­i­ca­ture Heads in Wood and on Paper.

After you view the gallery below, tour Marv’s stu­dio on the Car­i­ca­ture Carvers Of Amer­i­can web site — click HERE.

Dur­ing Con­gress Week 2017, the Maquoke­ta Art Expe­ri­ence will fea­ture the carv­ings of Adi­na Huck­ins and Janet Cordell, June 10-June 18.   

For more infor­ma­tion about the Inter­na­tion­al Wood­carvers Con­gress click HERE.

For more infor­ma­tion about the Maquoke­ta Art Expe­ri­ence click HERE.  

March-April 2017 WOM

Welcome to Woodcarver Online Magazine


Adi­na Huck­ins — West Fork, AR

AIW 2016 

Hel­lo, Friends in Carv­ing -

Wel­come to March-April edi­tion of Wood­carv­er Online Mag­a­zine.  This issue con­tains the pho­to gal­leries from the Day­ton Carvers Guild Artistry In Wood 2016.  There are some won­der­ful carv­ings in the gal­leries; be sure to take time to check them out.  Please remem­ber that all the win­ners images are click­able to dis­play a much larg­er ver­sion of the pho­tos, so you can real­ly look at the details.

In this issue:

  • Pho­to Gallery - Artistry In Wood 2016 
  • Pete LeClair: Har­grove
  • Ol’ Don’s Draw­ing Table: Carve-A-Troll
  • Notes From The ‘Net: Pho­tograph­ing Carv­ings 
  • Update to Events, Hap­pen­ings and Goings-On

As always, we wel­come your feed­back, ideas for arti­cles, etc.  Please use the con­tact form on the About page in the menu bar above.  Please sup­port our spon­sors (includ­ing the Carver­sCom­pan­ion Cafe­Press Shop, where you can find lots of gifts for the carv­er in your life); just click any of the links in the right menu bar.



Pho­to by Marc Feath­er­ly at IWC ’14

Matt Kel­ley


2015 Artistry In Wood Photo Galleries

Artistry In Wood 2016 Photo Galleries

Pho­tog­ra­phy by Marc Feath­er­ly

To vis­it the Gallery pages, click the links below, or the Gal­leries link in the menu bar to the left.

Artistry in Wood 2016 Carv­ing Win­ners — click HERE

Artistry in Wood 2016 Wood­work­ing Win­ners - click HERE



From “Ol’ Don’s” Drawing Table

OlDonFrom “Ol’ Don” Drawing Table

Ol’ Don” Burgdorf presents Carve-a-Troll

To print the pat­tern, click here; the pat­tern will open in a new win­dow, and should print on 8.5 x 11 paper. For Print­ing Hints, click here.

Ol’ Don” Burgdorf is a carv­er and artist from Hohen­wald, TN. Don’s fea­ture “Doo­dles ‘n Notes for Carvin’ Folks” appears reg­u­lar­ly in Chip Chats, and his pat­terns are now found in each issue of WOM and in past issues of Carv­ing Mag­a­zine. Some of Don’s “Chat­ter­ing Chip­pers” pat­terns can also be seen at the Woodcarver’s Porch pat­tern page.

Copy­right 2011–2017 “Ol’ Don” Burgdorf. This Pat­tern may be copied for indi­vid­ual use; repro­duc­tion for resale is pro­hib­it­ed with­out express writ­ten per­mis­sion.

From Pete LeClair — Hargrove


Pete LeClair

Pete LeClair’s Projects

Pete LeClair’s Hargrove


Pete LeClair is a well-known carv­er and teacher, author of three carv­ing books and a mem­ber of the Car­i­ca­ture Carvers of Amer­i­ca. You may learn more about Pete at his page on the CCA web site. Be sure to tour the rest of the CCA pages when you have a moment. In addi­tion, you may email Pete at pet­ele­clair AT Pho­tos copy­right 2001 — 2017 by Pete LeClair.

This pat­tern may be copied for indi­vid­ual use only; repro­duc­tion for resale is pro­hib­it­ed with­out express writ­ten per­mis­sion.

Notes From The ‘Net

Notes From The ‘Net

Ques­tions and Answers About Carv­ing Gath­ered From Pop­u­lar Carv­ing Groups

 Edit­ed by Matt Kel­ley


I was weed­ing through some old files recent­ly and ran across this ques­tion and series of com­ments that appeared in the orig­i­nal Wood­carv­er List mail group back in March 2009,  Although 8 years old, the infor­ma­tion is still quite use­ful.

On Taking Photos Of Carvings

Alex Bis­so posed the fol­low­ing ques­tion:

I have a recur­ring prob­lem with get­ting good pho­tos of carv­ings.  My stan­dard method of tri­al and error with the light­ing, inside and out­side works some­times but not con­sis­tent­ly.  On my last fish for exam­ple, I took one pho­to (after a cou­ple of tries) using a piece of light blue foam from an old camp­ing bedroll and the col­or and con­trast came out very well.  How­ev­er, when I tried to set up with a cloth maroon cloth back­ground to take more pho­tos, it looked good but my cam­era did not like it at all.  The pho­tos were either too dark or too bright and glarey and the col­ors did not look true.  There must be a way to set up for pho­tos that pro­vides a good back­ground and light­ing for true col­or with­out glare.  Can any­one sug­gest some­thing sim­ple and reli­able that might work.  

Byron Kin­na­man was the first to reply:

Get a pho­to cube.  It’s a white nylon cube that dif­fus­es the light and elim­i­nates glare.  They usu­al­ly come with 4 col­ored back­grounds and come in dif­fer­ent sizes.  I bought mine on eBay.   Sim­ply search on eBay for “pho­to cube”  there’s lots to choose from.   The best thing for pho­tog­ra­phy since the inven­tion of film.    

Alex respond­ed:

Thanks Byron — I will look into the pho­to cubes.  I will prob­a­bly still have ques­tions about light­ing.  

Joe Dil­lett wrote:

I think Byron’s com­ment about the pho­to cube is good. Oth­er things that are help­ful is always use a tri­pod. I always put some­thing white in the pho­to, even if it’s in the cor­ner that will be cropped off, so the cam­era has some­thing to use it for white bal­ance. Shad­ows help define depth. I like using one light source, gen­er­al­ly from the side, to show shad­ows. Nat­ur­al out­door light seems to be ide­al how­ev­er indoors the day­light type of bulbs yield good results.    Joe Dil­lett

Mau­ra Coop­er added:  

As for pic­tures, I just bought a new Nikon and the dif­fer­ence in my pic­tures is amaz­ing.  I also thank god for dig­i­tal cam­eras.  I often take up to 20 pics of the same thing, chang­ing the light­ing, chang­ing posi­tions, chang­ing back­grounds. Then load all the pics into my pc and pick out the best one or two.   

Ron Ram­sey penned the fol­low­ing:

If you want a pro­fes­sion­al look­ing pho­to­graph on a bud­get, fol­low these instruc­tions:
Set up a table or sawhors­es against a wall in a room where you will be able to block out all of the the light or to make the room dark at night. You want to be able to con­trol ALL of the light on your carv­ing.  Too much light in the wrong place will cause the col­ors to be washed out or the carv­ing to have too much glare in some areas.  This why it’s NOT RECOMMENDED TO TAKE PHOTOS OUTDOORS!

Go to a fram­ing store and buy a large piece of medi­um grey poster board.  Bend the poster board so that has a curve at the back and is ver­ti­cal against the wall at the top and hor­i­zon­tal against the table at the bot­tom.  Some thumb­tacks out­side the edge will help hold it in place.

Use a min­i­mum of two lights that have swiv­el bases and adjustable arms.  Use CFL bulbs.  Nat­ur­al light bulbs are bet­ter if you don’t plan on pro­cess­ing your pho­tos on pho­to soft­ware. The bulbs should not be more than the equiv­a­lent of 40 watts incan­des­cent.  The rea­son you need two or more lights is that you will need to direct the light from at least two direc­tions to fill the shad­ows.  You will still be able to get shad­ows to show the detail but there wont be areas that are lost in shad­ow.  Cov­er the light bulbs with semi-trans­par­ent trac­ing paper taped to the lamp­shades.  This is to dif­fuse and soft­en the light.  Pro­fes­sion­al pho­tog­ra­phers have spe­cial lights that work essen­tial­ly the same way.  Exper­i­ment with the adjust­ments of the lights.  Do not point the lights direct­ly at the carv­ing.  I some­times point the lights at the ceil­ing to reflect the light off of the white sheet rock.  The ide­al light­ing will be much dark­er to your eye than what appears cor­rect.  Some­times it appears too dark to take a pic­ture but don’t be fooled.  


If the pho­to appears too dark when you upload it, exper­i­ment with the bright­ness and con­trast.
USE A TRIPOD!  Set the ISO at 200 or less, and the high­est res­o­lu­tion your cam­era allows.  Too high of an ISO will cause grainy pho­tos. Set the cam­era on man­u­al and don’t use the flash.  Use the timed release to release the shut­ter so there will be no move­ment.  You will be tak­ing the pho­to at a very slow shut­ter speed and any move­ment will cause blur.  Most dig­i­tal cam­eras will set the expo­sure for you. Use a 10 sec­ond time delay to allow the cam­era time to set­tle down after you push the but­ton.

I pre­fer to take under exposed pho­tos and then work with them with pho­to pro­cess­ing soft­ware.  This allows me to enhance the bright­ness and con­trast and adjust the col­ors and sat­u­ra­tion.  The com­put­er pro­cess­ing can take a bit of expe­ri­ence to mas­ter but it’s pos­si­ble to get qual­i­ty raw pho­tos with the pho­tog­ra­phy tech­niques I’ve out­lined above.  Take lots of pho­tos, upload them to the com­put­er and ana­lyze the weak­ness­es.  Adjust light­ing angle etc. and take lots more.  You will learn what works for you and what doesn’t 

Jeff Pretz  com­ment­ed:

Very Help­ful for us who are learn­ing to take pic­tures of our carv­ings!  Thank you very much Ron!          

MikeG  added: 

Great idea to write down the set up, flash set­ting, posi­tion (flash, cam­era and sub­ject), type of lens and expo­sure num­ber on the paper, so you will know what going on between frames and lot eas­i­er to fig­ure out from tri­al and errors. Dig­i­tal cam­era are lot eas­i­er than 35 mm. Write down every­thing, no mat­ter what or why. With­out record, you waste more time. Good Luck (Great tip by Ron)

Loren Woodard wrote: 

For my pho­tographs I use a home made light tent.  Lynn Diel had an arti­cle in Carv­ing Mag­a­zine a few issues back that told how to make the light tent.  My best results have come with a light blue back­ground.  I use three lights.  My light tent is wrapped with a bed sheet.  I use a clamp-on light fix­ture on top with a stan­dard incan­des­cent bulb that shines through the top of the light tent and onto the light blue back board.  I then light the front with two light that have 13 watt day­light (flo­res­cent) bulbs in them.  I direct one light on each side of the carv­ing.  This set­up seems to work bet­ter for me than any oth­er method that I have tried.  I too had a ter­ri­ble time with light.  As a mat­ter of fact, I had an arti­cle turned down for a carv­ing mag­a­zine because of the pic­tures.  I’ve worked hard on the pho­tographs and the above worked bet­ter for me than any­thing. 
By all means, don’t use a bare flash.   

Byron Kin­na­man replied to a com­ment about nat­ur­al out­side light:

I agree that it’s hard to find a soft light day.  Pro­fes­sion­als use col­or cor­rect­ed lights and polar­ized fil­ters on the lights for direct light­ing. Many use umbrel­las for soft non-direct light.  The lights are still col­or cor­rect­ed.   I man­aged to find cou­ple 5000°K CFL lights.  From the pic­tures I don’t think they’re exact­ly 5000°K.  I’d like to find some 5900°K light with­out pay­ing an arm and leg for them.  I also use the pho­to cube which pro­vides a nice soft light.  I pre­fer to use 3 lights.   2 at approx­i­mate­ly 45° and one over­head slight­ly behind the sub­ject, some­times ref­er­eed to as a halo light.  With the halo light slight­ly behind, the sub­ject is sep­a­rat­ed from the back­ground and appears to float.  Many cat­a­logs use that tech­nique.

I’m going to dis­agree with part of what you say.   Nat­ur­al dif­fused sun­light pro­duces the nicest pic­tures.  Note I said dis­used.  The col­ors on a cloudy day pop.  Direct sun­light is not good nor is direct light of any kind.  With sun­light you don’t have to fuss with col­or tem­per­a­ture set­tings. Some CFLs have a green cast to them and can be dif­fi­cult to deal with. I’ve had to mess with the col­or tem­per­a­ture set­ting using CFLs.

Ron Ram­sey con­clud­ed:

It’s true that cloudy days can work to get great pho­tos but you have to wait for the right day.  Where I live it’s not cloudy that often  and when it is, it’s usu­al­ly rain­ing or snow­ing.  With the indoor method you can take pho­tos on any day or night.   Col­or casts can be a prob­lem so it’s a good idea to get famil­iar with a soft­ware pro­gram that allows you to change the bright­ness, con­trast, sat­u­ra­tion and col­or hue.  The cloudy day method is a good option but I find I have
much more con­trol over the shad­ows and details by using lights.  That’s why pro­fes­sion­al pho­tog­ra­phers use a stu­dio to take pho­tos of art.  Nat­ur­al light can some­times oblit­er­ate fine details because it is com­ing from all direc­tions at once.  By using adjustable lights you can fine tune the look you want and cause the details to show up.

That’s it for this edi­tion of NFTN.    If you see a post on one of the FB groups or Mail List­servs that you think should be pre­served in NFTN, please use the form below to sub­mit your sug­ges­tion.

NFTN Suggestions

Sug­ges­tions for NFTN
  • Please enter your name
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  • Please enter your sug­ges­tion for inclu­sion in Notes From The Net. Include the date of the post, the name of the per­son who start­ed the dis­cus­sion, names of those who pro­vide the best respons­es. It is impor­tant that you include the NAME of the Face­book group or mail list­serv.. Your email address will only be used to clar­i­fy your sug­ges­tion, if need­ed. Thanks for your sug­ges­tion.